Roughly 80 percent of stroke survivors exhibit hemiparesis, in which one side of their body (“hemi”) has a pronounced weakness (“paresis”).
How TheraTogs Can Help
TheraTogs were designed to enhance body awareness with compression, and to sustain the postural corrections that a therapist can effect without force during a treatment session. The system can be used in early rehabilitation to help to stabilize and align the torso, hips, and shoulder in standing position and while walking, and to facilitate recruitment of underused muscles.
Which TheraTogs Systems to Use
Due to the comprehensive strapping often required for adults with hemiparesis due to stroke, the Full Body System (FBS) is typically used to support therapy goals.
Applicable Evidence, Science, and Therapy Approaches
Evidence. Maguire (2010) evaluated affected hip abductor muscle activity in adults with stroke while walking a) with a cane, and b) without the cane but wearing TheraTogs garments with hip abduction-assist strapping applied to the affected side. Affected hip muscle activity diminished with the cane and increased significantly with TheraTogs.
TheraTogs systems provide the wearer with the opportunity to live and learn improved functioning, postural, and joint alignment through massed practice.
For example, Geno is 67 years old, 8 months post-stroke (CVA). Before TheraTogs, he walks haltingly with a quad cane. He shows immediate improvement from first wearing of TheraTogs and walks without his cane. Six weeks later, he shows significant gains in balance, mobility, and confidence.
Sciences that apply to the management of stroke:
- Physiologic adaptation of bone and soft tissues to use history
- Postural control
- Somatosensory information processing and modulation
- Neural plasticity: cortical mapping and massed practice
Therapy approaches that can be used to address stroke:
More About Stroke with Resulting Hemiparesis
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving the brain tissue of oxygen and food. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. A stroke may be caused by a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or a leaking or burst blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke). When the resulting lesion occurs in the motor cortex, it is referred to as an upper motor neuron lesion.
The person with hemiparesis shows loss of sensorimotor function – particularly of selective motor control – in the limbs, facial muscles, and trunk on the side of the body that is opposite to the brain lesion. Spasticity (exaggerated stretch reflex responses seen in testing at rest) may be present, though the influence of spasticity on function is minimal.[2,3,4] Cortical control over movement strategies is far more important than spasticity. Severity and recovery levels vary widely. For more information, see www.stroke.org.
- Maguire C et al. BMC Neurology 2012, 12:18 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2377/12/18
- Ada L, Vattanasilp W, O’Dwyer NJ, Crosbie J. 1998. Does spasticity contribute to walking dysfunction? J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatr. 64: 628-635.
- Vattanasilp W, Ada L, Crosbie J. 2000. Contribution of thixotropy, spasticity, and contracture to ankle stiffness after stroke. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 69(1): 34-39.
- Nardone A, Galante M, Lucas B, Schieppati M. 2001. Stance control is not affected by paresis and reflex hyperexcitability: the case of spastic patients. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.70(5): 635-643.